Hey,  Boo Boo!

There are bears in New Jersey, and caution is necessary - no matter where in the state you live.

South Jersey bears
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Bear activity report in every New Jersey county

According to the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife, bear activity is now reported in every county in the state.

While certain parts of New Jersey are more prone to bears, the animals are now in each county.

This is the time of the year that bears start to travel - looking for food, water, and even love.

Bears in South Jersey
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Bear activity in South Jersey

The Department of Fish and Wildlife says more and more bear activity is being reported.

In 2023, wildlife officials responded to 3 bear incidents in Atlantic County, 1 in Cape May County, and 5 in Cumberland County.

Ocean County saw 19 bear incidents, and there were 2 in Salem County, and 2 in Gloucester County.

By comparison, Sussex County saw 478 incidents in 2024, Morris County saw 274, and Warren County 234 incidents.

These numbers are for incidents where Fish and Wildlife officials were brought in, not those handled only by local law enforcement.

Bear South Jersey
Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash
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Tips if you have a bear encounter in New Jersey

Wildlife officials say you should not feed bears, approach bears, or even run from bears.

Instead, if you encounter a bear, back away slowly, be loud, and appear big - waving your arms or holding a jacket above your head.

Move away toward a secure location, while always giving the bear an escape route.

If you do have a problem with a bear, you're urged to call the Department's 24-hour hotline: 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

SOURCE: New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife

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